This theme is to be found in one of Mukherjee’s earlier novels Jasmine. In Desirable Daughters, as in Jasmine, the author revisits the ‘interracial immigrant romance’ from the perspective of the Indian American woman. In as much as these narratives are directed at women readers, they nevertheless serve to show how such narratives are different from that of male authors’. As part of the theme of self-construction of the characters, in Desirable Daughters we find that “the immigrant woman’s Americanization is accomplished with the help of white romantic partners, but in order to win their support the woman must submit to their alienating and sanitizing preconceptions of her, thereby renouncing the very past that renders her unique” .
Hence, in summary, through the lives of Tara Lata and her two sisters, author Bharati Mukherjee competently portrays the themes of changing identity, western feminism versus Indian tradition and self-discovery. In a way these three themes are interrelated. For example, as Tara Lata and her sisters attempt to resolve for themselves their true identities and set out to apply newly adopted values in their lives, they progress as individuals and end up discovering more about themselves. By depicting in detail the complex difficulties confronting these women, Mukherjee also illustrates the underlying vulnerabilities.
Brians, Paul. Modern South Asia Literature in English. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2003. Questia. 22 May 2009 .
Chu, Patricia P. Assimilating Asians: Gendered Strategies of Authorship in Asian America. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 2000. Questia. 22 May 2009 .
Whitson, Kathy J. Encyclopedia of Feminist Literature. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2004. Questia. 22 May 2009.